The Real Truth About Strategic Planning: Part One 

When organizations create business strategies, they are typically focused on mid-term business outcomes such as increased market share, revenue and product or service enhancements to grow the business. These plans can look and feel very robust and clear; however, what is frequently overlooked in these plans is whether the organization’s leadership team believes in and understands the strategy and whether they are aligned and working to carry it out. Without this component, any strategy will be doomed to fail and be merely well-documented wishful thinking. Unless an organization can a) articulate their desired future state or where they want to be, b) define where they are now compared to their desired future state, and c) be honest about what is standing in their way, they will never be successful in developing and executing a strategic plan.

“A strategy is a way through a difficulty, an approach to overcoming an obstacle, a response to a challenge. If the challenge is not defined, it is difficult or impossible to assess the quality of the strategy. And, if you cannot assess that, you cannot reject a bad strategy or improve a good one.” – Ruchard Rumelt

Team alignment is a fundamental element in every strategic planning process. If team alignment doesn’t exist, the program, no matter how good, will not be appropriately executed and will not be adequately managed. To understand how to achieve team alignment, one must first understand it.

What is Team Alignment in an Organizational Setting?

Team Alignment is when a whole team aspires to achieve the same vision, understands the goals, and is made up of individuals who understand how to contribute their strengths.

Team alignment creates numerous benefits, including:  

  • Increased efficiency to achieve goals  
  • Improved communication
  • Improved productivity
  • Improved performance
  • Higher motivation and morale
  • Improved trust
  • Higher employee retention rates
  • Ability to make key decisions faster
  • Agility to adapt to a changing market

Most teams fail because of internal dysfunction and distrust, which is why at Refinery, we don’t recommend the typical team building, “rah-rah” exercises that you might with traditional training companies. Instead, we first assess your organization in order to understand what’s happening behind the scenes. Once we know what’s really going on, we give people the insight and tools they need to work with each other. Because functional, trusting teams get real work done.

As leadership development consultants, Refinery has seen the challenges around organizational team alignment, and we understand from decades of experience that it is critical to the success of all organizational objectives and strategies. This is the reason Refinery offers Team Alignment as a stand-alone service and why our strategy development always starts with a full review of an organization’s team environment before we begin strategic planning.

To learn more about Refinery’s Strategy Services, click here

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